I worry about people’s inability to be away from a cell phone that beeps and rings. I understand that it makes them feel like somewhere out there someone ‘needs’ or ‘wants’ them but it progressively undermines social and emotional intelligence (if there was any to begin with.)
Here is an interesting video from PBS about Cellphone Etiquette.
Around 8:45, Fernando Castrillon talks about affective issues that develop in teenage years. Though I think it bears saying that people who are under 35 live in a mindset that is truly akin to those of a teenager and they can remain teens as long as they wish for corporations and marketers love them best that way. However, for all the envy we have for teens for being young and devoting a lot of their time to having fun, teens often seem incredibly lonely and sad.
Besides sadness and loneliness, teens have to learn to deal with boredom and with a device that beeps all the time to give you the impression that you are ‘in a network’ or ‘have friends’, you can’t face those feelings or learn to deal with them. The inability to deal with sadness, boredom and loneliness lead to addiction.
I have a crappy old phone and train people NOT to call me… EVER. It doesn’t have a camera and it’s incredibly clunky. It’s a pay-as-you-go hand-me-down from my editor-in-chief (I get the prize for most hyphenated word in a phrase right there!) I know for a fact that life is blissful having fun with the person or people who are right in front of me, right now.
I make allocation for business people who have to be reached for a decision, clarification or emergency; God knows I have loved a many system administrators who have those coitus preventing devices strapped to their groin; but if you answer your phone while you are with me and it is apparently pointless and you do not have the balls to cut it off immediately, I will gladly get up and leave.
You see that’s the thing, I have a long list of actual things to accomplish and people I love to be with so there is little room in my life for a smart phone that would allow people and machines to ping me and distract me. There is little room in my life for other people’s annoying smart phones and that’s why most of my friends and lovers don’t have smart phones (or a cell phone at all) And that is how I know that a smart phone does not make your life better.
Right now I never get a phone call from a lover while I am having sex with another lover! And the list of reasons why I don’t mind it when I forget my phone is very long!
If you have a cell phone, you have to have the ability and intelligence to manage access to yourself and your time very wisely so that you protect the quality of your time with the people who are right in front of you.
And I hear you say that you need an iPhone for work but I know from over-hearing all of you mad gab about that latest application that makes poo that business is not what keeps you completely addicted to your iPhone.
In closing I have to admit that I have a small yearning for a Motorola Milestone because I want to develop Android applications. When I do get it, I will have to hide it because I refuse to see my quality of life and intellect go down because I have a smart phone. A few months ago a TV director friend of mine friend lent me his Blackberry for a week and I found myself looking at it while crossing the street. That clitoris-like trackball thingy is absolutely awesome and possibly deadly!